The other day I unwisely overstretched a ligament in my foot. My ligament retaliated by leaving a bump the size of my fist and the whole of my foot being covered in black, blue and green.
I read recently about the healing properties of bone broth for digestion, immunity and, importantly for me – bone and joint health. It turns out, bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in vertebrae animals. The collagen is found in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal bones leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage. Bone broth also contains gelatin which helps to maintain strong bones and supports heathy bone mineral density. So, into my medicinal kitchen I go!
The bone broth I make is very simple and generally involves chicken bones and whatever dense vegetables that happen to be in my kitchen – onions, celery, carrots, garlic. Today I was very fortunate that I had just received a vegetable box delivery so my broth was fresh and bountiful.
You can drink the broth straight up in a mug as a beverage, or use it in risotto, savory porridges or the base of a hearty soup.
To make the bone broth:
1 L filtered water
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, cut in quarters, skin on (if organic)
1 stalk celery (use the leafy bits too)
1 leak, roughly chopped (use the whole thing – top and bottom)
1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat part of your knife, skin on (if organic)
1 chicken carcass, free range and hormone free (get this from your local butcher or farmers market. Many times they will give this for free or really inexpensively, Sometimes I just get a whole chicken and ask them to cut it up for me, keeping the carcass.)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot or a crock pot with the water. (I prefer a crock pot as it feels safer keep on unattended for long sittings.) Add your ingredients and let them simmer on low heat for 4-6 hours (or as long as 24 hours, if desired). After the allocated time, remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the broth and store in your refrigerator in air tight pitchers or pour some into freezer bags or ice-cube trays to put in the freezer for later.
Note, after cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.